Egypt Decides to Send French Wheat Cargo Back Home After Fungus

Egypt, the world’s largest wheat importer, issued a decision to send 63,000 metric tons of French grain back home after it was found to exceed the allowed level of ergot, a potentially toxic fungus.

The wheat is being sent back because it exceeded the allowed 0.05 percent level of ergot, Supply Minister Khaled Hanafy said at a press conference in Cairo Sunday. Egypt still has enough grain stockpiles to meet domestic demand until mid-May, Hanafy and Agriculture Minister Essam Fayed said.

Egypt is looking for alternative sources of wheat beyond tenders, Hanafy said, without providing details. The nation on Friday canceled its second grain tender in a week after traders raised prices amid uncertainty over shipping requirements. Both Fayed and Hanafy said shipments can’t exceed ergot levels of 0.05 percent, in line with international standards.

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